Mahwah’s Water and Sewer Rates Take Center Stage at Town Council Meeting

In a recent Mahwah Town Council meeting, the primary focus was on potential adjustments to the town’s water and sewer rates, addressing concerns about sustainability due to rising costs and long-standing rate structures. The implications of these adjustments and their impact on specific demographics, particularly senior citizens, were also hotly debated.

About 12-13 years have passed since the last adjustment to the town’s water rates. With an average inflation rate of 3.82% from 2018-2022, set to rise to 4.64% next year, the council expressed deep concerns about the water and sewer fund balance, which has been declining since 2015. While several rate adjustment options were proposed by the auditor, an alternative suggestion aimed for tiered increases based on cubic feet usage. For context, around 98% of Mahwah consumers use less than 10,000 cubic feet of water. The new proposal encompasses a 7% rate increase after an initial flat raise, ultimately leading to a cumulative 32% increase over three years. However, this proposal led to moments of confusion among attendees, particularly about the difference between the proposed 7% and the cumulative 32% increase.

Adding to the debate, the potential impact on senior citizens became a focal point. New Jersey offers tax reliefs to seniors, but increases in water and sewer rates wouldn’t be rebated. This could make it more costly for many seniors, especially those who benefit from tax freezes but might not be eligible for utility assistance.

Concerning the potential sale of the town’s water utility, comparisons were made with Allendale, which sold its water company to Veolia in 2021. Some council members argued in favor of retaining the town’s infrastructure, while others pointed out that private utilities would still require Board of Public Utilities (BPU) approval for rate hikes. This regulation does not bind the town, offering more flexibility in rate-setting.

Other developments at the meeting touched upon the town’s landscaping efforts, the LED light project, challenges with Orange & Rockland Utilities, and updates on various infrastructure projects, including the warehouse on MacArthur Boulevard. The council also addressed administrative items, such as joining a cooperative purchasing program, payment issues for the DPW building, and tax reductions for a specific property.

Residents also had the opportunity to voice their opinions, with discussions ranging from gun safety education to the financial health of the Water and Sewer Department and plans for the local high school. The council and Mayor Jim Wysocki concluded the meeting by acknowledging various community members, township employees, and first responders for their dedication and service.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Not avaliable:

City Council Officials:

Receive debriefs about local meetings in your inbox weekly:

Trending meetings
across the country:

Meeting Date
Filter by bodytypes
Agricultural Advisory Committee
Airport Advisory Board
Art and Culture Board
Beach Committee
Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Board of Elections
Board of Health
Borough Council
Building Committee
Cannabis Control Board
Cemetery Commission
Charter Revision Commission
Child and Family Services Board
City Council
City Identity Committee
Code Enforcement Board
College Board of Trustees
Community Appearance Board
Community Preservation Committee
Community Redevelopment Agency
County Council
Disability Advisory Committee
Economic Development Board
Elderly Affairs Board
Electric Advisory Board
Environmental Commission
Financial Oversight Board
Historic Preservation Commission
Housing Authority
Human Relations Committee
Human Resources Committee
Insurance Fund
Land Use Board
Library Board
Licensing Board
Mental Health Commission
Municipal Alliance
Open Space Commission
Oversight and Review Committee
Parking Authority
Parks and Gardens Commission
Parks Commission
Pension Board
Planning Board
Police Review Board
Property Assessment Board
Public Safety Committee
Recreation Commission
Redevelopment Agency
Rent Control Board
Rent Leveling Board
School Board
Sewerage Authority
Shade Tree Commission
Special Magistrate
Taxation & Revenue Advisory Committee
Tourism Board
Trails Committee
Transportation Board
Utility Board
Value Adjustment Board
Veterans Committee
Water Control Board
Women's Advisory Committee
Youth Advisory Committee
Zoning Board
Filter by County
Bay County
Bradford County
Brevard County
Broward County
Clay County
Duval County
Escambia County
Gulf County
Hendry County
Highlands County
Hillsborough County
Indian River County
Lake County
Lee County
Leon County
Levy County
Liberty County
Manatee County
Marion County
Martin County
Miami-Dade County
Monroe County
Okaloosa County
Orange County
Osceola County
Palm Beach County
Pasco County
Pinellas County
Polk County
Putnam County
Santa Rosa County
Sarasota County
Seminole County
St. Johns County
Taylor County
Volusia County
Walton County
Barnstable County
Berkshire County
Bristol County
Essex County
Franklin County
Hampden County
Hampshire County
Middlesex County
Norfolk County
Plymouth County
Suffolk County
Worcester County
Atlantic County
Bergen County
Burlington County
Camden County
Cape May County
Cumberland County
Essex County
Gloucester County
Hudson County
Hunterdon County
Mercer County
Middlesex County
Monmouth County
Morris County
Ocean County
Passaic County
Somerset County
Sussex County
Union County
Warren County
Filter by sourcetypes